Author: Jen Gunter, MD
ISBN: 978-0-806-53931-7 (e-book)
Publisher: Kensington Books
Goodreads Rating: 5/5 stars
Content Warnings: None
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion
The Vagina Bible is a reference book about well…the vagina. It would be more accurate to call this the “Vagina, Vulva, Clitoris, etc. Bible” but that’s a mouthful. It’s a straightforward look at the reproductive system and the myths that ultimately hurt half the population’s ability to take proper care of their bodies.
This book is far from the first time Jen Gunter has wielded her self-titled lasso of truth against information. An OB/GYN from the Bay Area in California, Jen Gunter uses social media and her blog to talk about reproductive health. The Vagina Bible is intended as a go-to primer on the ins and outs of the vagina, vulva, uterus, and others.
I approached this text as a layperson without any training in obstetrics nor, in gynecology. For the most part, it was straightforward and understandable. I rarely felt overwhelmed by technicalities, and even when I did it didn’t take much to get myself caught back up. There are some chapters towards the end that deal with more complicate issues that needed a more technical description. Still, I found The Vagina Bible to be an accessible text that provides helpful information to anyone.
While I read The Vagina Bible front to back, that wasn’t exactly Gunter’s intention. It should be a reference to come back to and find the information that you need, she says as much in her introduction. And I think it works well for that. I do admit that some chapters get a little repetitive, but a reader might not necessarily read them back-to-back.
Far from dry, The Vagina Bible is full of Gunter’s personality. I’ve been reading her blog for a while, so I expected that would be the case. If you’re not familiar with her style of writing, it might be a good idea to read some of her opinion pieces or blog posts to see how you like her work. The casual, conversational style helps to avoid overwhelming the reader with medical jargon and get them the information that they need.
One thing that pleasantly surprised me was Gunter’s inclusion of the LGBT+ community. She doesn’t assume that having a uterus/vagina/vulva automatically means that someone is a woman, and vice versa. When Gunter describes sex, she makes sure to clarify when she means women who partner with men or women who partner with women. She also devotes a section to discussing the reproductive health of the transgender community. As an OB/GYN, she focuses on people that have a vagina, so she discusses trans individuals who have a vagina, whether they were born with one or have one as the result of sex reassignment surgery. Given that the LGBT+ community tends to be under served when it comes to sex ed, it’s nice to know that Gunter is helping to fill in the gap.
The Vagina Bible is a resource on reproductive health for the layperson. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I think I’m going to keep it in my kindle library in case I need to go back and reference the information in the future. The Vagina Bible has the resources to empower informed conversation about reproductive health.